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Public Law

Public Law (3rd edn)

John Stanton and Craig Prescott
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date: 29 February 2024

p. 39510. Localism and regionalismlocked

p. 39510. Localism and regionalismlocked

  • John StantonJohn StantonSenior Lecturer in Law at The City Law School, City, University of London
  •  and Craig PrescottCraig PrescottLecturer in Law, Bangor University


This chapter explores local government in the UK, by which is meant the myriad bodies and institutions elected in localities across the country and tasked with providing governance and leadership for a specific area. The historical development of such institutions is explored, placing this development in a broad constitutional context. The chapter explains the way in which local government operates, looking at the various structures adopted across the different parts of the UK. It also discusses and explains councils’ executive arrangements, focusing in particular on distinctions between single- and two-tier models and the emergence of directly elected mayors. A key constitutional consideration with regards to UK local government, though, is councils’ relationship with centralised (or devolved) authority. This is discussed in the chapter, with a particular emphasis on the way in which central government exerts control over local bodies including on the question of finance. The chapter also discusses recent and potential reform of local government.

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